2019 Estate Vineyard, Wadensvil Block Pinot Noir
94 Points - Vinous
Saturated garnet. Spice-accented black raspberry and cherry aromas are complemented by suggestions of cola, incense and Asian spices. Bright and energetic on the palate, offering densely packed red and blue fruit liqueur, savory herb and floral pastille flavors that turn sweeter as the wine opens up. Fine-grained tannins support an impressively long, spice-driven finish that shows excellent clarity and lingering floral and blue fruit notes. All de-stemmed fruit and 20% new French oak.
Winemaking and Notes: We have long believed that Wadensvil planted in marine sedimentary soil produces some of the best wines in the cellar. The only problem is finding it outside of our vineyard. Wadensvil is a little later ripening, a little lighter, and a little more elegant and was generally shunned from the late 80s into the mid-2000s by independent vineyards. Given the right conditions though and especially when combined with the mineral effect of marine soil it blossoms into a stunningly beautiful wine. The 2019 version of this bottling will really show the red fruit that is the highlight of the Wadensvil Clone. The fruit was all destemmed from the block in 2019 and while the wine still has the structural components inherent to the vineyard there are no stem tannins. This allows for the rose petal and raspberry notes to rush to the forefront of this wine. The Wadensvil clone presents itself in a lovely red-fruited manner (while still being quite concentrated and rich) from a vineyard that tends toward darker fruit profiles. There are very fine-grained tannins and terrific acidity so this wine may take some time to come around and it will undoubtedly have a long life in front of it.Location: Ribbon Ridge is a sub-appellation of the Willamette Valley AVA that sits 22 miles southwest of Portland, 4 miles northwest of Dundee and 40 miles east of the Pacific Ocean. Ribbon Ridge is contained within the larger Chehalem Mountains AVA - which is contained with the Willamette Valley AVA.
Soils: The Ribbon Ridge region contains primarily sedimentary soils that are younger, finer and more uniform than the alluvial sedimentary and volcanic soils of neighboring regions. These moderately deep, well-drained silty-clay loam soils are part of the Willakenzie soil series and are of low fertility and ideal for growing high-quality wine grapes.
Topography: Geographically, Ribbon Ridge is a 3.5-mile long by 1.75-mile wide ridge that extends from the Chehalem Mountains. The ridge rises 683 feet from the Chehalem Valley floor, giving it an island-like appearance.
Site Characteristics: Our vineyard is planted in a Marine Sedimentary soil known as Wellsford. This soil type is very fine, to the point of being silty (think talcum powder). The soil is highly drained and prone to erosion. The subsoil is sandstone which further adds to the quick drainage as well as making for a growing environment that is tough on younger, developing vines with immature root systems. However it is excellent for older vines as the soils are so soft that the root systems become very deep, allowing the plant to find nutrients, minerals and water that are critical to vine health and, ultimately, wine complexity.
On top of our unique soil condition we have a vineyard that begins in the middle of the hillside and works its way up the southern slope, toward the top of the hill. It then begins to fan out covering the southeast and southwest slopes. As you move up and around the hillside, the vineyard covers every possible aspect to the sun. North slopes, steep eastern slopes and cascading western slopes along with everything in between make up the entirety of our vineyard. Very few vineyards have a 360 degree aspect to them and we do everything we can to work within the context of these differing slopes and the blocks that occupy them.